CIVIL – Center for Freedom wishes all citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia a peaceful, dignified, free, fair and democratic Election Day.
In this 18th edition of ELECTION REPORT, we publish information on the course of the voting process in penitentiaries and the problems there, as well as several messages to voters, political parties, election boards and the public.
VOTING IN PENITENTIARIES
CIVIL’s monitoring determined that today’s voting of persons in detention and serving prison sentences started on time in all penal-correctional facilities, except in the Idrizovo prison. The voting process in the Idrizovo prison started at 8.20 am. CIVIL expressed hope that the administration and Election Board in the Idrizovo prison will respect the principle according to which voting in polling stations should continue for as long as the very interruption had lasted, that is, delay.
CIVIL’s monitoring on the voting process in penitentiaries across the country notes several other shortcomings. In the Penitentiary in Kumanovo, of 56 persons, only 38 are on the Voters Register. In the Penitentiary in Bitola, 20 persons are missing on the Voters Register.
At the start of the voting in the Penitentiary in Prilep and in Bitola, voters were not allowed to vote with the so-called “house card”, unlike all other penitentiaries where it was permitted. Somewhere around 9.00 am, this problem was overcome and now voters in the penitentiaries of Prilep and Bitola can exercise their right to vote with the “house card” like in all the other penitentiaries.
SEVERAL MEDIA VIOLATE ELECTION SILENCE
Based on these principles and election rules, CIVIL’s monitoring has observed several gross violations to the election silence by several media during last night. Details regarding these cases will be announced after the election silence at 7.00 pm tomorrow, Sunday, October 17.
WHAT IS ELECTION SILENCE?
Election silence enters into force a day before the voting (Saturday), more specifically, at midnight between Friday and Saturday, when the election campaign ends. The silence lasts until 7.00 pm on the day of the voting (Sunday). This implies that spreading of propaganda, party agitation, vote-buying, conducting campaigns and other violations to the Electoral Code are strictly forbidden.
During election silence, reporting is made on the elections and course of voting, but all forms of election media coverage stop.
According to the Electoral Code, violation of election silence includes broadcasting of any information, photos, audio and audio-visual material related to all those participating in the elections, any forms of media reporting that are openly or in a hiddenway in the function of someone’s election campaign and can influence the decision of voters, data with which the identity of political entities are revealed and/or individuals involved in incidents or other irregularities on Election Day, as well as statements of candidates in the election process, from participants in the election campaign, representatives of political parties andholders of functions in state bodies
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ELECTION IRREGULARITIES
As always, CIVIL announces that it follows the principle:
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ELECTION IRREGULARITIES!
Any and even smallest form of irregularity and non-compliance to the laws and procedures is a violation to the right to vote and destroys the dignity of the election process. Therefore, all participants in the election process are called on to maximally respect the democratic standards and legal regulations and to contribute to free, fair and democratic elections.
The citizens of North Macedonia expect free, democratic and safe elections and a peaceful post-election period!
REPORTING IRREGULARITIES TO CIVIL
CIVIL is publically expressing its gratitude for the great number of messages from citizens from throughout the country, with which they express their trust and support to the organization.
Election irregularities such as pressure, vote-buying, abuses, problems with the Voters Register, violation ofthe election silence, hate speech, namely, everything that citizens believe is not in accordance to their understanding of free, fair and democratic elections, can be reported to CIVIL.
Reports can be submitted on the website slobodniizbori.info or in a Citizen application for which there is a banner on the internet portal civilmedia.mk. In addition, irregularities can be reported at the following email ([email protected]), in a message on CIVIL’s Facebook page or at the following telephone number: 02 / 5209 176.
POLITICAL PARTIES NEED TO RESPECT ELECTION SILENCE
CIVIL calls on political parties and their officials, members and activists, as well as independent candidates to comply to the Electoral Code, Constitution and laws of the Republic of North Macedonia, to respect the election silence and to stop possible plans, if there are such, on vote-buying, pressure and manipulation of voters.
Any attempt to violate the election silence and violation to the laws and standards related to the election process, must immediately be stopped and sanctioned. There must be no tolerance for any pressure, threat or corruption (vote-buying).
INSTITUTIONS MUST ACT
CIVIL welcomes the efforts of relevant state institutions that are intensively carrying out their legal obligations to maximally use all of their legal competencies and to conduct a lawful, free, fair and democratic election process.
MESSAGE TO THE ELECTION BOARDS: ALL OF CIVIL’S OBSERVERS ARE MOBILE
All members of election boards must respect the integrity and work of observers and of journalistic teams and under no conditions hinder their work.
CIVIL informs the members of the election boards to have in consideration that all of CIVIL’s observers are mobile. They remain a relatively short time at the polling stations and can return as many times as needed and agreed with CIVIL’s coordination team.
CIVIL TO THE VOTERS: VOTE FREELY, YOU OWE NOTHING TO ANYONE
CIVIL calls on citizens to vote freely, according to their own belief. They owe nothing to anyone. Everything that parties and candidates promise them at any elections, actually, belongs to them, according to the Constitution and laws of the Republic of North Macedonia.
Good luck to us!
Xhabir Deralla, in cooperation with CIVIL’s Monitoring Team
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
Realization: Arian Mehmeti
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian